Why You Should Attend Haven Conference, Even If You Don’t Know a Soul?
I hear from from lots of bloggers that they would love to attend a conference like Haven, but they just can’t get up the courage. The thought of stepping into a room full of hundreds of people you only know through the Internet can seem pretty intimidating, especially when the crowd includes bloggers you may have looked up to for years (John and Sherry, I’m lookin’ at you!).
But I am here to tell you, especially my fellow introverts, that you CAN do it, and I promise all the butterflies will be worth it!
I’m usually the shy, quiet one, especially in a crowd full of new faces. I would prefer to listen than to carry the conversation myself. I get tongue-tied and don’t know what to say to people I’m just meeting for the first time. Can you relate to this? So you can imagine that, back in 2013 as departure day for my first Haven conference approached, I was kicking myself for signing up for this event! I didn’t know a soul! What made me think that I could fly to Atlanta by myself and walk into a room full of strangers? The thought made my stomach do backflips, and the whole trip to the hotel (plane and cab) was basically one big four-hour pep talk.
But I quickly learned that I was not alone. Plenty of other newbies didn’t know anyone, either. People will introduce themselves every chance they get: waiting in the check-in line, before sessions begin, at the cocktail parties, even while walking through the buffet line! They’ll introduce you to the other bloggers they just met, and before you know it, you’ve got a dozen new friends! That’s the beauty of Haven—the whole atmosphere is so warm and welcoming. Everyone will be excited to meet you, from your fellow bloggers to the coordinators to the sponsors and vendors. All you need to do is show up, and you will make some new friends. So, even if you don’t know a soul, go! I know it’s hard to put yourself out there—I was there once myself, and honestly, I’ll still have a few butterflies this summer when I return for my 3rd Haven conference—but I promise you it will be worth it!